Wondering which is better for your startup: Google Workspace or Office 365? In this article, we compare the two platforms in terms of business email, collaboration apps, AI features, and pricing. We also answer some of the most common questions about Google Workspace and Office 365.

Google Workspace and Office 365 are the most popular productivity suites for businesses and education. Discover why Google Workspace shines, the reasons for choosing Microsoft Office, and whether these solutions can be used together. Is Google Workspace worth it for small businesses? Read on to find out!

People working in an office

Comparing Business email

Both Google Workspace and Office 365 offer business email, with a variety of features to help you stay organized and productive. Google’s Gmail is a popular choice for its spam protection, easy-to-use interface, and powerful search features. Microsoft’s Outlook is another popular option, with a more traditional interface and a wide range of features.

Google Workspace: One of Google Workspace’s standout features is its business email service, which provides a professional email address using your company’s domain name. With Gmail at its core, users benefit from robust spam protection, expansive storage space, and a user-friendly interface. The integration with other Google apps ensures seamless communication and information sharing.

Office 365: Microsoft’s counterpart, Office 365, offers a similar business email service through Outlook. Known for its reliability, security features, and advanced calendaring, Outlook caters to businesses of all sizes. Office 365’s integration with other Microsoft tools further streamlines workflows, enhancing overall productivity.

Gmail app on a laptop

Comparing Collaboration Apps

Google Workspace and Office 365 both offer a variety of collaboration apps, including document editors, spreadsheets, presentations, and chat. Google Workspace’s apps are designed to be easy to use and collaborate on from anywhere, while Office 365’s apps offer more features and customization options.

Google Workspace: Google’s collaboration apps, including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drive, are designed for real-time editing and sharing. The real magic lies in the simultaneous collaboration feature, allowing team members to work together on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in real time. This is particularly advantageous for startups with remote or distributed teams.

Office 365: Microsoft’s suite offers collaboration apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive. These applications are known for their comprehensive features and compatibility with existing Microsoft Office files. While real-time collaboration is possible, it might not be as seamless as Google Workspace’s solution.

Microsoft Office 365 Apps on mobile

Comparing AI features

Google Workspace and Microsoft Office 365 both offer a variety of AI features to help users be more productive. Here is a comparison of some of the key AI features of the two platforms:

Google Workspace

  • Smart Compose: This feature suggests words and phrases as you type in Gmail, Docs, Slides, and Sheets. It can help you save time and write more efficiently.
  • Smart Reply: Suggests short responses to emails in Gmail. It can help you quickly reply to emails without having to type everything out yourself.
  • Meet: This video conferencing app uses AI to improve the quality of your calls. It can also automatically transcribe your calls so you can easily refer back to them later.
  • Chat: Uses AI to suggest relevant responses and keep your conversations on track.

Microsoft Office 365

  • 365 Copilot: This AI-powered assistant can help you write emails, create presentations, and analyze data.
  • Outlook: Uses AI to filter spam, detect phishing emails, and suggest meeting times.
  • Teams: Uses AI to transcribe meetings, translate conversations, and identify key discussion points.
  • Excel: Analyze data and create charts and graphs with the help of AI.
  • PowerPoint: Uses AI to create presentations that are tailored to your audience.

Comparing Pricing

Both Google Workspace and Office 365 offer a variety of pricing plans to fit your needs. Google Workspace is generally more affordable than Office 365, especially for small businesses and startups.

Google Workspace: Google offers a variety of pricing plans to fit your needs. The pricing is based on the number of users and the features you need. It provides essential features even in its basic plan, making it suitable for startups with tight budgets. As you scale, you can upgrade to more advanced plans for additional storage, security features, and support. You can also get a free 14-day trial of any Google Workspace plan through a local Google Partner.

Office 365: Microsoft’s pricing model also varies according to the plan and number of users. While it is generally perceived as slightly costlier than Google Workspace, it offers a range of plans tailored to different business needs.

Why Google Workspace is better than Office 365?

Google Workspace is a better choice for startups for a number of reasons. It is more affordable, easier to use, and more collaborative than Office 365. Google Workspace is renowned for its user-friendly interface and intuitive applications. Its cloud-based nature allows for easy access and collaboration from any device with an internet connection.

The seamless real-time collaboration in Google Workspace applications is a significant advantage for startups. This feature fosters efficient teamwork and idea sharing, particularly for remote or hybrid teams.

If your startup is already using Google services like Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar, transitioning to Google Workspace would be a natural progression. The integration ensures a consistent experience across various tools.

People working at a desk in an office

Why do companies use Microsoft Office instead of Google?

There are a few reasons why companies might use Microsoft Office instead of Google. Microsoft Office is more familiar to many people. However, Google Workspace is catching up quickly, and it is now a viable alternative for businesses of all sizes.

Is Google Workspace worth it for small businesses?

Yes, Google Workspace is worth it for small businesses. Its affordable pricing, real-time collaboration, and user-friendly interface make it an excellent choice for startups looking to streamline communication and productivity. Google Workspace is also very scalable, so you can easily add users and features as your business grows.

Can I use Google Workspace and Office 365 together?

Absolutely. This is known as a hybrid approach, where businesses leverage the strengths of both platforms. For instance, you can use Google Workspace for email and collaboration while utilizing Office 365 for advanced data analysis using Excel or complex document formatting in Word. However, managing two separate platforms might require careful planning and integration to ensure a seamless workflow.


  • Google Workspace is more affordable than Office 365, especially for small businesses and startups.
  • Google Workspace is easier to use and more collaborative than Office 365.
  • On the other hand, Office 365’s advanced features, familiarity, and security offerings might appeal to startups in certain industries or those heavily reliant on complex data analysis and presentations.
  • There’s no one-size-fits-all answer – carefully assess your startup’s requirements and goals to make the best choice for your business’s success.
  • The Refractiv team can help you choose the right productivity apps for your startup and set up a free Google Workspace trial for your UK business.